Hi Everyone! I updated the Tech Pages for legacy shift lights and the RPM simulator. Check it out! Let me know if I missed anything.
A recent poll I posted in this blog has shown the overwhelming majority of poll-respondents do find the forums valuable. My website visitor statistics corroborate these results. The forums continue to see the largest "views" among all other pages. That being said, I'm actively looking for a new forum provider. Unfortunately, this means it's quite likely the majority of the data in the forums may be lost. :-( Not cool. I'll continue to work on this and keep you updated. I'll do my best to retain the data, but I wont' make any promises.
I was quite impressed with the construction of the topper. The decorative front resembled a stained glass window (but with plastic). The soldered metal frame was fastened to a sub-frame with 3 bolts. This sub-frame held a set of incandescent light bulbs and winds into a coil for tree attachment. I managed to strap 60 WS2812B LEDs to the sub-frame and a Nano. Powered off a 3A 5V cell-phone charger, the entire setup took mere minutes to wire-up. I loaded a modified version of my under-cabinet lighting "Mood Lamp" code. Overall, for about 2 hours of modification, I'm quite happy with it. I'm already thinking about different modes, brightness levels, etc. but I'll probably wait until next year before I try something new.
I noticed a minor issue when more than 25 LEDs were programmed in the menu. The system would slow and become a bit jumpy. I further optimized the code, removed some redundancy, and the system gained a significant amount of performance in RPM pickup resolution. I've posted V3.11 code to the TECH pages. All shift light kits shipped on or after 9/28/2017 will have the new code automatically uploaded.
The code, documents, schematics for the V3.1 Shift Light are available for download in the new "Tech" page. I'm adding this new section of the website as a permanent repository of information. (Still under construction)
Click Here: Shift Light V3.1 Information
I had an idea to remove the forums - they don't seem all that active, though I do see a lot of information I could aggregate in the "Source" pages. The support is lacking from the provider and it has some bugs -- tell me what you think. Should I remove the forums or keep them?
You'll also notice a new display. That's a neat OLED display - with improved menu system, option setting screens, more information, and status icons while running. However, the most significant improvements come from the RPM sensing circuitry and power management.
The old circuit relied on a directly connected transistor to sample the RPM signal. The new circuit is diode-protected and optically-isolated. This results in reduced noise, improved pickup response, and improved protection. The shift light is now totally isolated from your vehicles electronics and vice-versa. New power protection and a dedicated power regulator for the AMTEL chipset adds superior protection and noise elimination - taking the reliability and accuracy to new levels.
To make all this happen, I had to seriously overhaul major sections of code. It didn't take long before I hit (then exceeded) the program space on the AMTEL chip. The animation algorithms were totally stripped and re-written. A few menu items were removed and libraries were optimized. I had to save basically 20% of program space through redundancy checks and some good 'ol fashioned math.
Quality assurance and testing was carried out extensively. Not only did I scope nearly all inputs and outputs, but I also subjected the development units to different noise scenarios, power overloads, erratic signals, misconnections, and interruptions. The new circuitry performed admirably - detecting and accurately reporting signals down to 10% duty cycle and even AC signals +/- 15VDC.
Thanks again for the amazing community of dedicated enthusiasts from all makes, brands, models, and walks of life. This wouldn't be possible without you!
Hi Everyone! Been quite busy the last few months working on development for V3 of the Shift Light. I'm excited to say: all that hard-work is finally about to pay off. I've finished prototyping with upgraded parts and about to release the first circuit board for production and BETA testing. Development was challenging. I collaborated with numerous users to make improvements to the circuitry and user interface.
Therefore, I'm discontinuing the previous shift-light versions. Although I do plan to grandfather the software improvements as a FREE UPGRADE for all current users. This means I have a very limited supply of shift-lights remaining and will not be ordering more. I'll send out an email newsletter when stock of the new V3 is ready for sale.
Sorry, folks. The Chippernut forums are currently down. I spoke with technical support and they are working on the issue. I apologize for the inconveneince. If you need any information or support, please contact me directly at email@example.com . I currently have a backlog of emails I'm trying to respond to, so please be patient as it may take me a day or two to respond.
Thanks again for stopping by!
Just wanted to update you that I'm back and catching up on emails and forum posts. I had a really busy last week and it didn't help that my primary Chippernut computer had a serious OS malfunction that took me out of commission for a few days. I also juggled the install of a new transmission in my IS300 - which proved to be quite time intensive. I'm all done and ready to get back to work. Thankfully my data was backed up on a separate server, so nothing is lost. Stay tuned for some exciting developments yet this year! Thanks again for your continued support!
Jon @ Chippernut